Mission and Mandate
Concrete Cabaret is an experimental puppetry and performing object cabaret that began in 2018 and performs seasonally in Toronto. In the spirit of experimentation and historic object performance forms, we welcome short acts and works-in-progress that challenge theatrical norms and our understanding of objects and inanimacy as well as performances that address current social, political, and artistic issues. We prioritize performances and acts from peoples and groups that are underrepresented in the theatre and live performance community. The cabaret aims to act as a catalyst for community building between performers and audiences, creating a commonality around experimentation, performing objects and food, all with an accessible ticket price!
Concrete Cabaret derives from the puppetry cabaret traditions of Cafe Concret in Montreal, Great Small Works Spaghetti Dinners in New York City and Bread and Puppet from Vermont. These performance traditions feature meals served alongside puppetry shows and live music as well as “cheap art” for sale, reinforcing a belief that art should be as fundamentally sustaining as bread to life. We are proud to be a part of the international puppet slam tradition, which prioritizes the in-progress, the unfinished, the uncategorizable. The volunteer curators of Concrete Cabaret work hard to ensure that all who wish to attend may do so by providing a pay-what-you-can option at each and every performance and by committing to renting accessible performance venues.
Concrete Cabaret Toronto is generously supported by a grant from the Puppet Slam Network.
The Concrete Cabaret Team
The Concrete Cabaret team is comprised of artists, workers, teachers, researchers and general-purpose humans, who are dedicated to making space for experimental puppetry and performing object work in Toronto. The team works on a volunteer basis under a democratic management system.
Left to Right: Alexandra Montagnese, Annie Katsura Rollins, Heather Caplap, Sarah Tracy, Gabriel Levine
If you are a creator/performer/artist working in the medium of puppetry and performing objects—someone who does things with stuff on stage—and are looking for a place to informally present your works-in-progress or experimental projects in Toronto, consider applying to one of our seasonal cabarets (see the apply/contact page).
We prioritize performances and acts that challenge theatrical norms and our understanding of objects and inanimacy, as well as projects and people telling stories pertinent to, and underrepresented in, today’s political and social climate. Low-tech and short-form pieces fit our cabaret best—performances ranging from 5-15 minutes with minimal setup and tech are preferred. All performers are paid out of ticket sales and provided with a free meal before or during the performance. We look forward to hearing from you!
If you’d like to be part of our fabulous volunteer team to help on the night of the show or in any other capacity, please get in touch!